The West Australian government is launching an overseas recruitment drive to fill gaps in the police force.
The idea to import police from overseas comes as local officers leave the police force in record numbers.
West Australia Police Union figures show 465 officers quit last year and 97 others retired, the highest number of resignations and retirements in the force’s history.
New recruits were being sought from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, with more than 700 people having expressed interest since the campaign began.
Police Union acting president Paul Gale said the number of sworn officers in the state had fallen from 7112 in 2021 to 6893 in 2022.
While a police spokesperson blamed recruitment and retention challenges on the “competitive job market” the Police Union said cultural issues within the organisation were to blame for falling police numbers.
“The union supports the government’s overseas recruitment drive, however, this is only a band-aid solution,” Gale said.
“It’s only a matter of time before these new recruits obtain permanent residency and become familiar with the many cultural and organisational issues in WA police.
“We know what these issues are - poor pay and conditions, rigid leadership, a lack of opportunity to share opinions and to progress careers.”